Thursday, December 31, 2009

Year End Spectacular: The Director's of the Decade

Whew, it's the last day of the year, and what an interesting year it's been. As far as films go I think 2009 may be the year of mediocrity for me. There's lots of good, but nothing I found to be particularly excellent. Of course it's an interesting day in that it not only marks the end of the year, but also the decade to honor this I'll be posting my year end, and somewhat decade end, spectacular!

First up? The Director's of the decade!

It's been an interesting decade overall. Some hits, some misses, some little bit of everything else to be honest. Started a journal, left a journal, started a blog, made lots of friends, lost lots of friends, graduated high school, still haven't graduated college (will in 5 months). It's been a whirlwind decade (especially considering I don't even remember half of the last one). But, hey I've already talked about all of this, in my Top 15 films of the Decade post. So no use just repeating myself right? right? right? Ok, bad joke (yes, yes it was - stop that!). So for this I figured I'd go through and just discuss some random things for your pleasure.

Most Confusing Director:

3. Antoine Fuqua -
Fuqua started off the decade with a whimper in the Enemy of the State rehash in Bait (a bland Jamie Foxx kind of looks like Will Smith vehicle). He followed that up with what may be one of the best films of the decade in Training Day, with a career defining performance from Denzel Washington (We'll let the Hatters debate that :P). After TD, Fuqua could have done ANYTHING. At all, he could have owned the world. What does he do? Tears of the Sun... a bland, finale only action Bruce Willis vehicle nobody cared to see. Toss in the horrid King Arthur, boring Shooter, and a couple films nobody saw Fuqua is leaving the decade where he started: nowhere.

2. Steven Soderbergh - Soderbergh's one of those odd directors that does about 1000 movies every day, leading me to believe he's a workaholic. This decade though, Soderbergh has hit the entire spectrum of films. He's had greats in Traffic, Ocean's 11, Che. He's had mediocre in Rest of the Ocean's series, Erin Brockovich, Solaris. And of course he's had bad in Good German, Bubble, and Girlfriend Experience (note these are based only on those films of his I've seen). Unsurprisingly Soderbergh already has 3 films lined up for the 10's, but who knows what we'll get there.

1. Chris Columbus - I shouldn't note Columbus as a confusing director he's always been. He rode into this decade on his knees with duds like Stepmom, Nine Months, and Bicentennial Man. Yet he kicked off the decade with a bang in the first two Harry Potter films! You can't start any better than that (unless you were Peter Jackson or Ridley Scott). He followed that up with a little concert film called: 3-D Rocks (which may be the worst title of any film this decade). After that He created a monster dud in his rendition of the infamous musical, Rent (that's right, I called it a dud!). Though none of it really mattered. This year Columbus gave us a film to kill films. A movie that years from now may be remembered as one of the worst of the decade: I Love You, Beth Cooper. Has any film in history actually given its audience PTSD as much as this movie? Maybe not. Up nest for Columbus is Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightening Thief. Also known as: Man I Could Really Use Another Harry Potter.

Worst Director of the Decade:
I wanted to do a top 3 but every spot was taken already, so here we go:

3,2,1.Uwe Boll -
If I have to explain this too you, you don't need to read this blog.

Best Director of the Decade:

3. Peter Jackson -
I have to be honest, after Lord of the Rings, Peter Jackson could have done Where's Waldo: The Musical and he still would have made my list. Granted while some hate, I still love his take on King Kong, giving him a top of the decade list (regardless of how Lovely Bones turns out).

2. Darren Aronofsky - Say what you want to say about the man, his films, when you make Requiem for a Dream, The Fountain, and The Wrestler all in the same decade you're going to make this list. There's just no way I'm not going to put you on it, and honestly I haven't been as excited for another director's work like this in years.

1. Danny Boyle -Nobody started this decade off with more of a jumble than Boyle. His film The Beach was met with eh from just about everyone. He stumbled into mediocre TV/Direct-to-DVD land with Strumpet, Vacuuming Completely Nude in Paradise, and Alien Love Triangle. Things weren't looking good. Then in 2008 he redefined everything! He unveiled: 28 Days Later. One of the greatest of its zombie/infection genre, this movie was instantly one of my all time favorites, a strong contender for top 100 films (still is). Next up was Millions, a beautiful tale far too few saw, which he followed by Sunshine, a beautiful and intense film once again far too few saw. Then last year, after all his troubles, Boyle finally got noticed with Slumdog Millionaire. His unique use of style, powerful stories, and intriguing character looks caught the entire world by attention. A great list of films, from an absolutely great director.

Honorable Mentions: Martin Scorces. Clint Eastwood. Michael Gondry. The Coen Brothers.

3 better thoughts:

Vanessa said...

What about Michel Gondry?

Univarn said...

@Vanessa I thought about Gondry but his only film I absolutely loved was Eternal Sunshine, the rest I felt rather indifferent towards. But he deserves an honorable mention I'd say.

Shannon the Movie Moxie said...

Dem be fightin' word on King Arthur - I absolutely adore Fuqua's King Arthur. Adore. Fantastic cast whom give great performances (save Clive Owen who I thought was ok - but everyone else is fantastic). I didn't love many of his other films though, including Training day so I can't argue unevenness.

I really like your top three though - they give a very concise picture of what the decade has been like. Awesome choices.

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